Few of us can forget the scene in The Notebook where Noah, dangling one-handed from a Ferris wheel, asks out Allie for the first time. Neither can we forget the final song in Grease where the Rydell High gang celebrates the end of the school year, singing and dancing their way through carnival rides and fun houses. Watch almost any nostalgic movie—Big, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Sandlot, Never Been Kissed, Charlotte’s Web, the list goes on and on—and you’ll spot an iconic festival scene. We just can’t get enough of festivals.
And it’s easy to see why.
No matter how old you are, festivals are magical. Once a year, the town square fills with rollercoasters, bumper cars, carousels, and all manner of swings, slides, and gravity-defying rides seemingly overnight. You can almost taste the sweetness in the air as the scent of cotton candy and funnel cake floats by.
Kids shriek with glee racing each other on inflatables. A row of classic cars lines the street; a tent displays unique arts and crafts for sale; a band rocks out on a nearby stage. There’s something for everyone, from age 1 to 101.
And then—just as quickly as it came—it disappears.
Maybe it’s their impermanence that makes festivals so special.
Something in the air makes us believe—just for a while—that our wishes can be granted by a Zoltar machine, or that our next Ferris wheel ride will introduce us to our soul mate. Something about a festival makes us feel as though a miracle lurks around every corner, waiting just beyond the Tilt-a-Whirl or past the pretzel stand.
This summer, don’t miss your chance to experience the ephemeral magic of one of Macomb County’s wonderful festivals. Check out our full list of county festivals here.Jenna Russell is a summer intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.